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Olympic trans rules update pushed back as weightlifter Hubbard retires

After announcing it would overhaul its inclusion policies for trans athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pushed back the review to next year.

Following the first appearance this year of openly trans and non-binary athletes in the Tokyo Olympics, the IOC said that new competition eligibility guidelines would be released by October.

Now, the review is set for 2022, three years after it was originally planned, according to The Guardian.

The delay is reportedly due to “very conflicting opinions”.

IOC medical and science director Dr Richard Budgett said in August that the existing guidelines do not reflect the current science.

Dr Budgett said that the new policies would “prioritise inclusion” and “avoidance of harm”.

Particular controversy has existed over whether trans women athletes have an inherent advantage over their cis competitors.

“We still have to agree on the framework,” said Dr Budgett. 

“It’s challenging. 

“But it will be published in a few months’ time – at the latest just after the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.

“We’re very aware that sex, of course, is not binary. 

“It’s a continuum. The sectors overlap. 

“And so the solutions are not essentially going to be binary.”

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history this year as the first openly trans athlete to be accepted to compete in the Olympics.

Hubbard retired following her competition in the Tokyo Games, in which she was eliminated from the finals after failing to register a lift.

She was last week named Sportswoman of the Year by the University of Otago.

Hubbard said that she was ‘‘grateful for all of the support and kindness received”.

‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha of friends, family and supporters,” she said.

‘‘This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey.’’

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